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The Salt
10:52 am
Tue February 14, 2012

DIY Willy Wonka Turns Home Into Chocolate Factory

Ben Rasmussen pours tempered chocolate into a tray, where it will harden into a finished bar.
Potomac Chocolate

Some people fill their workshops with sawdust and power tools; Ben Rasmussen built a chocolate factory in his.

Actually, "factory" might be too big a word for the Woodbridge, Va. operation, which Rasmussen says is "absurdly small." But it's a step up from his kitchen, where his Potomac Chocolate – one of the smallest chocolate companies in the U.S. – was born.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:37 am
Tue February 14, 2012

States Vary On What They Allow Midwives To Do

Midwife Erin Fullam, left, takes care of Shannon Earle and her new baby Kiera. Daughter Riana, the father, Patrick, and his mother, Ann Earle, look on at the family's home in Takoma Park, Md., in 2011.
Amanda Steen NPR

Women planning to have a baby at home will probably be helped by a midwife.

Doctors only deliver about 5 percent of babies born outside the hospital, according to figures released last month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Depending on where you live, though, finding a licensed midwife can be tough.

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The Two-Way
10:31 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Whitney Houston's Funeral Will Be Held In Childhood Church

Fans attend a Whitney Houston Leimert Park Vigil on Monday in Los Angeles.
Valerie Macon Getty Images

Pop super star Whitney Houston's funeral will be held at the Newark, N.J. church where she sang as a little girl. Citing the owner of Whigham Funeral Home in Newark, the AP reports her funeral will take place at the New Hope Baptist Church on Saturday, Feb. 18.

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The Two-Way
9:58 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Syrian Activist: 'Idea Of Safety Doesn't Exist Anymore'

Syrian rebels aim during a weapons training exercise outside Idlib, Syria on Tuesday. Syrian government forces renewed their assault on the rebellious city of Homs on Tuesday in what activists described as the heaviest shelling in days.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 10:03 am

A day after the United Nations' chief human rights official offered a tough rebuke of Syria, government forces continued their assault on the restive city of Homs. According to the AP, the city has sustained the heaviest shelling in days.

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The Two-Way
8:44 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Drop In Auto Sales Leads To Smaller-Than-Expected Gain In U.S. Retail Sales

Retail sales rose by 0.4 percent in January, the Commerce Department reported today.

While that's better than December's flat number, it's less than the 0.8 percent expected by economists. The AP adds:

"When excluding autos and gasoline station sales, retail spending jumped 0.6 percent the best showing in three months.

"Consumers spent less on cars, the report showed, even though automakers have previously reported higher sales in January. That suggests dealers offered discounts in order to boost sales.

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The Two-Way
8:33 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Rick Santorum Faces Off With Occupy Movement At Campaign Event

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rick Santorum speaks to the media on Monday at the state capitol in Olympia, Washington.
Stephen Brashear Getty Images

As has happened to many of the Republican presidential candidates before him, Rick Santorum was "mic checked" at a campaign rally in Washington, yesterday.

As the Bellingham Herald reports it, Santorum was speaking at a venue right next to the Occupy Tacoma encampment and was met with chants almost as soon as he started talking.

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Tue February 14, 2012

USS Abraham Lincoln Clears The Strait Of Hormuz

This January 19, 2012 image provided by the US Navy, shows the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) transiting the Arabian Sea.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 8:12 am

For the second time in recent weeks, the USS Abraham Lincoln has passed through the Strait of Hormuz. If you remember the strait has been central in the diplomatic rift between Iran and the United States.

Reacting to sanctions imposed by the United States and approved by the European Union, Iran has threatened to close the narrow strait through which about 20 perent of the world's oil exports passes through.

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The Two-Way
7:46 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Explosions Rock Bangkok; Iranian Is Suspected

A Thai Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) official examines a backpack that was left on the bomb site by a suspect bomber in Bangkok on Tuesday.
Apichart Weerawong AP

A man thought to be Iranian blew off his legs, when he tried to lob an explosive at police in Bangkok. Shortly before that happened, two other explosions were reported in the commercial district of the city.

The AP reports police found a passport that identified the man as Saeid Moradi from Iran.

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Mormon Baptism Of Wiesenthal Kin Sparks Jewish Outrage

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 11:08 am

Two decades of anger, apologies and agreements have failed to keep the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from ending posthumous Mormon baptisms of prominent Jews and holocaust victims.

In the latest incident, the parents of the late Simon Wiesenthal, a survivor of a Nazi death camp and an advocate for holocaust victims, were baptized in a Mormon ceremony.

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The Two-Way
7:11 am
Tue February 14, 2012

A Year After Uprising, Bahrain Sees Protests Quelled By Teargas

Bahraini anti-government protesters react to tear gas fired by riot police on Monday.
Hasan Jamali AP

Today marks a year since an uprising started in the Gulf Nation of Bahrain. And over the course of the year, we saw lots of protests, and we saw the Gulf Cooperation Council send troops into the country to quash the rebellion. We saw the monarchy dismantle the Pearl Roundabout, which had become symbolic of the uprising and later commission a report about what went wrong at the height of the protests last February.

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Around the Nation
6:49 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Remembering Jackie Kennedy's White House Tour

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 6:51 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. On this day 50 years ago, the first lady offered a Valentine to America, a televised tour of the newly restored White House. Jacqueline Kennedy had been shocked at how little of the past was in the White House, so she threw her heart into bringing that history back. Teddy Roosevelt's rugs, an oak desk given by Queen Victoria, a rare portrait of Benjamin Franklin. And Americans loved it, with a record number tuning into her TV tour. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Europe
6:43 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Croatia's Museum Of Broken Relationships

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Asia
4:27 am
Tue February 14, 2012

White House Welcomes Chinese Official Xi Jinping

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 10:28 am

The man who is expected to become China's next president begins highly anticipated meetings in Washington on Tuesday. The trip comes as the Obama administration seeks to shift the emphasis of U.S. strategy toward the Asia-Pacific region — including changes the Chinese aren't sure they like.

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Around the Nation
4:13 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Pa.'s Gas Boom Worsens Low-Cost Housing Shortage

The natural gas boom in Pennsylvania has new workers flooding into the state. That's causing a housing crunch in some communities, as locals get priced out of the rental market. One rural county in the northern part of the state has opened its first homeless shelter.

Television
4:10 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Love A TV Show? Watch It Live. Just Like It? DVR It.

About 40 percent of TV households have digital video recorders. Once you have one, you may think differently about the shows you watch. TV critic Eric Deggans of the Tampa Bay Times has found some hidden meanings in the TV series his DVR tapes week after week.

Election 2012
12:05 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Study: 1.8 Million Dead People Still Registered To Vote

A sign at the Feb. 4 Nevada caucuses in Las Vegas.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 8:46 am

Democrats and Republicans don't agree on much. But they do agree that voter registration lists across the country are a mess.

A new report by the Pew Center on the States finds that more than 1.8 million dead people are currently registered to vote. And 24 million registrations are either invalid or inaccurate.

There's little evidence that this has led to widespread voter fraud, but it has raised concerns that the system is vulnerable.

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The Impact of War
12:01 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Building Better Houses For Wounded Soldiers

The Wounded Warrior Home Project is an inventive approach to military housing, serving the needs of wounded soldiers and their families as they continue to serve on active duty at Fort Belvoir, Va.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:02 am

All wars bring innovations — in weapons, and also in ways to repair the damage done. Penicillin is one of the more famous examples: It came into use as a treatment for troops in World War II.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have brought their own breakthroughs, none more dramatic than the prosthetics that come close to giving back what has been lost. And big advances in treating grievous injuries have meant many more troops coming home alive.

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Asia
12:01 am
Tue February 14, 2012

A Pragmatic Princeling Next In Line To Lead China

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, shown here in December 2011 waving to students during a visit to Bangkok, Thailand, is in line to become China's leader next year.
Pairoj AFP/Getty Images

Second of three parts

In northwestern China's Shaanxi province, a neatly manicured and landscaped memorial park the size of six soccer fields is one sign of the revolutionary lineage of Xi Jinping, the man set to become China's next leader.

Known as a Communist Party princeling, Xi is the 58-year-old son of Xi Zhongxun, a deputy prime minister and revolutionary hero who died in 2002.

The elder Xi was born in Fuping county in Shaanxi, more than 600 miles southwest of Beijing, and is considered a hometown hero.

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Africa
12:01 am
Tue February 14, 2012

At 85, Senegal's Defiant President Seeks A New Term

Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, 85, greets supporters during a campaign rally in Dakar last week. He is seeking a third term. Critics say he is violating the constitution and should step down.
Gabriela Barnuevo AP

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 10:54 am

The Senegalese are known for campaigning loudly, musically and enthusiastically, yet the country's reputation for democracy and stability in turbulent West Africa has taken a knock as it prepares for elections on Feb. 26.

When Senegal's top court gave its blessing last month to President Abdoulaye Wade's third-term ambitions, his opponents angrily took to the streets to demonstrate their disapproval.

Senegal was tense as police clashed with protesters demanding that the president withdraw his candidacy.

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Author Interviews
12:01 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Networking Tips from the Ultimate Networker

Random House

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 8:36 am

"Relatively few people should start companies," Reid Hoffman says bluntly. And he should know. As a co-founder of popular social networking website LinkedIn and an influential Silicon Valley angel investor, he has engineered several startup success stories — and now he has distilled his business wisdom into a book, The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career.

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Music Interviews
9:00 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

The Chieftains: For 50 Years, Irish Music For The World

Barry McCall

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 8:53 am

Paul McCartney, Madonna, Doc Watson and Luciano Pavarotti have at least one thing in common: They've all collaborated with Irish folk band

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It's All Politics
6:16 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

What Would The GOP Candidates Do With The Federal Budget? A Look At Their Plans

A sign on a car window at a Feb. 2 rally for Ron Paul in Elko, Nev.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Mon February 13, 2012 7:06 pm

It goes without saying that the men who are vying for the Republican presidential nomination found serious flaws with the budget plan President Obama released Monday. But it got us thinking that this might also be a good time to dig into the budget plans offered by the GOP candidates.

All of the candidates want to cut government spending and balance the federal budget. They also want to cut taxes.

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The Two-Way
6:12 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

Federal Appeals Court Hears Challenge To California Affirmative Action Ban

Originally published on Mon February 13, 2012 6:20 pm

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard a challenge to California's 15-year ban on using affirmative action in public college admissions.

As the AP put it, Proposition 209, as it's known, "barred racial, ethnic or gender preferences in public education, employment and contracting." And over the 15 years since it was approved by California voters, that same court has upheld it.

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Music
6:10 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

The Ballad Of The Tearful: Why Some Songs Make You Cry

Adele won the song of the year category at this year's Grammy Awards for her tear-jerker "Someone Like You."
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 5:45 pm

Note: A number of listeners responded to this story and said the definition of appoggiatura was incorrect. Music commentator Rob Kapilow has a second opinion here.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:41 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

Why Catholic Groups' Health Plans Say No To Contraceptives, Yes To Viagra

Covered? Usually.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

If health insurance plans offered by Catholic-sponsored entities refuse to cover contraceptives for women because of the religion's moral teachings banning artificial birth control, do they cover Viagra for men?

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It's All Politics
5:40 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

With Focus On Obama Budget, Fiscal Watchdog Warns Of Broken Process

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 10:36 am

As fiscal experts around Washington and beyond pored over President Obama's 2013 budget proposal, one of the nation's most persistent nags about the need for the U.S. to clean up its budgetary act reminded his fellow citizens of just how much a mess the whole process is.

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The Two-Way
5:25 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

Republicans To Introduce Backup Bill That Extends Payroll Tax Holiday

Facing an end-of-month expiration of the payroll tax holiday, Republicans said they would introduce a backup bill that would extend that tax cut without offsetting its costs with other cuts.

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Music Videos
4:44 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

Igudesman And Joo: 'I Will Survive'

Doriane Raiman NPR

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 12:29 pm

Violinist Aleksey Igudesman and pianist Hyung-ki Joo believe that classical music should be fun. That's why they subvert it whenever they appear on stage.

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Health
4:27 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

For Komen, Walks Will Be Fundraising Test

Several thousand people participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Tyler, Texas, in 2007. Some walkers for this year's races, including the 3-Day walk, are worried that they might have trouble raising money because of the Planned Parenthood controversy.
Scott M. Lieberman AP

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 12:30 pm

Over the weekend, the Susan G. Komen foundation held meetings in 15 cities around the country for people who have registered for this summer's 3-Day walks.

The annual events are key fundraisers for the breast cancer research and treatment organization. But after the recent controversy over Komen's grants to Planned Parenthood, some walkers are worried it might be harder to get donations this year.

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